Last Dambuster is special guest at veteran’s day event

PUBLISHED: 12:29 28 June 2017 | UPDATED: 12:29 28 June 2017

Johnny Johnson at Bomber Command day.

Johnny Johnson at Bomber Command day.

Archant

The last surviving British Dambuster, George ‘Johnny’ Johnson, visited Godmanchester on Saturday to share his stories.

Johnny Johnson and Roger Leivers. Johnny Johnson and Roger Leivers.

Mr Johnson, of the 617 Squadron, was among a host of veterans who appeared at a special Bomber Command Veteran’s Day.

Also in attendance at the event, held in the Comrades Club, in Cambridge Street, were gunners, navigators and wireless operators who, between them, had completed hundreds of missions during the Second World War, as well as some, like Henry Wagner, who became prisoners of war.

Roger Leivers, organiser of the event, said: “Johnny Johnson was amazing, he loves these sorts of events and says it is something he enjoys.

“This was his first event since his MBE so we gave him three ‘hip hip hoorays’ to welcome him.”

Bomber Command day at the Comrades Club, in Godmanchester. Bomber Command day at the Comrades Club, in Godmanchester.

The veterans spoke to visitors about their experiences, posed for pictures, and signed autographs. The day also saw exhibitions from a range of groups including Godmanchester’s own Porch Museum.

“It was a wonderful day with a great atmosphere, there were a lot of exhibitors and a lot of things for people to look at,” added Mr Leivers.

It was also a special occasion for Mr Leivers as he celebrated the launch of his book Stirling to Essen: The Godmanchester Stirling.

The book, which has been a five-year long journey of discovery, tells the story of the Stirling Royal Air Force bomber which crashed in the town on April 11, 1942, killing two of the XV Squadron.

“It was the story of the crash in Godmanchester which started it off and from there I have researched all the families to get a complete story of the crew,” Mr Leivers said.

“It is an incredible story of fate and luck and of children born without knowing their fathers – it is incredibly moving.”

It was the third time that the event has been held, and this time the day raised more than £1,500 for numerous charities.

One of those is the Blenheim Society which will receive a donation of £200 in memory of Squadron Leader Ian Blair, who was the poster boy of the RAF during the Second World War and died last year at the age of 98.

More news stories

18 minutes ago

Jonathan Djanogly and Heidi Allen were two of the Conservative MPs who helped defeat the government in last night’s vote for parliament to have a final say on the Brexit deal.

08:16

The “desperate” financial state of Sawtry Village Academy - where the former head was jailed for fraud - is to be discussed by School Standards Minister Nick Gibb in a meeting with North West Cambridgeshire MP Shailesh Vara and school representatives.

The type of ammunition used by a police firearms unit has been changed following concerns raised by the coroner in the inquest of a man who was shot dead in St Neots.

Yesterday, 13:45

The Huntingdonshire Business Against Crime (HBAC) group is hoping to build on the success of last year’s Christmas crackdown on shoplifting and anti-social behaviour in the district’s towns.

Most read stories

Local business directory

Cambridgeshire's trusted business finder
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hunts Post e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter